Ann M. Donnelly, a federal district judge for the Eastern District of New York, ruled Friday that the seizure of $27,828 from R. Kelly’s prison account will move forward, Rolling Stone and Billboard report. $900 of the funds will go to pay a court fine, and the rest of the money will be transferred to an interest-bearing account, where it will stay until the court determines how much restitution each of Kelly’s victims is owed. Once the money is moved, Kelly’s commissary account at Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago — where the 55-year-old ex-R&B star is currently incarcerated — will contain only $500.
The decision comes after a brief battle with Kelly’s lawyers, who fought the move, arguing that the money was incorrectly confiscated, as the government’s notice of default and restitution was not yet finalized when the funds were initially taken. Judge Donnelly ruled, however, that the prosecutors had the right to freeze Kelly’s cash in order to protect his victims’ rights “to full and timely restitution.”
In June, Judge Donnelly sentenced Kelly to 30 years in prison after his September 2021 conviction on nine counts of sex trafficking and racketeering. His second federal trial began in August in Chicago, where he’s charged with child pornography and obstruction of justice. He also faces two felony counts of sexual misconduct in Minnesota for allegedly “engaging in, hiring, or agreeing to hire a minor to engage in prostitution.”